Non compliance of orders for Repair and maintenance of Leprosy home: State high court takes cognizance

Directs top officials to appear in person to explain

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Photo used for indicative purpose only. Source internet
Shimla, Mar 7
The High Court of H.P. today directed the Secretary (Social Justice & Empowerment), Director (Health), to the Govt. of H.P., Deputy Commissioner Shimla and District Welfare Officer, District Shimla, to appear personally before the Court on 21.03.2022, to explain as to why compliance of the orders regarding inspection of the Leprosy Home situated at Leprosy Colony, Phagli, Shimla and its necessary repair work was not made.
A Division Bench comprising Chief Justice Mohammad Rafiq and Justice Jyotsna Rewal Dua passed these orders on a petition filed by one Neeraj Shashwat who has alleged that leprosy patients have been allotted a building at Fagli, Shimla by the government almost a decade ago and since then no maintenance has been undertaken by the State in that building.  He has further alleged that there is a lack of basic amenities like  toilets and proper water facility. The electric fittings are in dangerous condition, windows and doors are broken, there is leakage in sewerage system due to which patients have to go to toilet in open.  He has alleged that the matter was taken up with the various authorities but none of them has shown any interest to improve the condition of these deprived people.
The petitioner had requested to issue directions to the State to provide and maintain the basic amenities in the leprosy colony with immediate effect as the winter season was about to set in.
The Court vide its order dated 07.01.2022 had directed the Deputy Commissioner, Shimla to inspect the said Leprosy Home and ensure necessary repairing work, within a period of four weeks. During the course of hearing petitioner’s counsel stated that the Deputy Commissioner Shimla neither inspected the site personally, nor got the repair done.
However, the Additional Advocate General contended that though belatedly but on 04.03.2022, the District Welfare Officer, had sent an estimate of Rs. 40 lacs for carrying out the repairing work to the Director, Empowerment of SCs, OBCs, Minorities and the Specially abled, H.P. Shimla and the repair work of the said leprosy home shall be carried out soon after the sanction of budget.
The Court observed that the officers of the State are so insensitive towards the the people suffering with leprosy staying in a dilapidated home. The court further observed that this only shows the lack of concern on the part of executive to those staying in leprosy home, most of whom are between 60 to 85 years.
The matter has been now posted for 21.03.2022.

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